Seemingly recession-proof Bristol media monolith the Watershed has attracted cinema lovers to the harbourside for 30 years now – and an all-day celebration this week showcased some of the most innovative and fresh facets of this well-loved institution.
Visitors were able to experience the innovative work of Waterdshed and UWE’s Pervasive Media collaboration, through ‘On a Theme of Hermes’ , a downloadable mobile app that fuses music and poetry transforming Millennium Square into a ‘virtual auditorium’.
Creative technologies offered some lighter relief in the ‘Spectroscopy’ installation – transforming participant into an energy field visible in a vibrant display of information, inspiring kids and grown ups alike to jump around wildly. Never has quantum mechanics been so fun!
Further for the little ones, Aardman Animations was on hand with a free stop motion workshop, where you could try stop motion animation first hand and watch film shorts from the studios best loved charters – including Shaun the Sheep and Morph. The smell of plasticine was in the air as adults as children alike created slugs and pirates.
One of the many free film previews taking place on the open day was ’8 Minutes Idle’ from iFeatures; based on Matt Thorne’s award-winning book, the dark comedy follows the terrible life the young character around some of Bristol’s best-loved spots. Meanwhile, the ‘Our Peeps’ series documented the lives of some of Bristol’s more challenged residents, exploring racial tensions, class divide and social mores in an in-depth series of approaches.
The café was busy with offers and free tasters from its delightful menu. It is well worth heralding in its own right, with its lush dark wood interior and beautiful views over the waterfront. Redeveloped in 2005, the whole building is wonderfully accessible and a pleasure to simply be in.
Accessed through this space, the pervasive media is equally as expansive and richly decorated, today displaying a side of this building usually out of the public view. Showcasing ongoing projects in a baffling array of mobile and wireless technologies, the public are invited on tours to experience instant graffiti, a story telling jukebox and play a game of sing smash along the way. More information on the various projects at www.pmstudio.co.uk
The day culminated in a grand tea party and the birthday cake to end all birthday cake,open to visitors and offering free tea to visitors, alongside the chance to chat with Watershed staff and founders, with free screenings continuing well into the night.
More info on Bristol’s Watershed at www.watershed.co.uk